Review by TargetDog

"A decent game that has no major flaws but many minor ones"

A decent game with no major flaws but many minor ones which definitely add up.
GRAW for the xbox 360 was released and was quickly found to be one of the best X360 games to date. During that time, the developers of the game, Ubisoft, promised an even better and more tactical version of the game for PC gamers. Is the game more tactical? Yes, most definitely, to the point of frustration. But is the game better? Unfortunately, no.

First off, I don't think I need to explain all the details to you since you've undoubtedly read about the details of the game already; you have a squad of ghosts who clean out enemies, basically. Lets get down to the gameplay mechanics.

The core gameplay is pretty decent. Make no mistake that you'll have to be careful with your decisions in this game if you want to live, especially since this game is VERY HARD(which is not helped by the fact that you cant quick save and you can only save in checkpoints.) Basically, what you do is order your team to get to an objective in the level, fighting enemies along the way. There are a couple of problems with this. While it is fun to duck behind cover and shoot your enemies and stuff like that, two things bring this down; AI in general and the order menus. First of all, the AI sucks. Both your team and the enemy AI are really dumb and can not do their job well. Oftentimes they will be right next to each other and not notice each other, and they will do ingenious things such as bump into walls. This is much more noticeable with your team; a lot of times when you order them to do something they either dont do it or do it in the worst possible way. They can also get stuck for no specific reason, which is kind of dumb. Secondly, order menus are pretty annoying. When you want to order someone to do something, you press a mouse button which brings up a menu. This is a problem when youre in the heat of battle because scrolling and choosing the options is too slow, and you'll probably get shot while youre doing it. Also, you have a tactical map. You can bring the tactical map to order your teammates to go to places and such, which is quite useful. Game levels are normally very big but you'll end up proceeding only 1 or 2 ways to your objective anyway; it seems very open-ended but in fact its quite linear. The formula of the game is always the same; Get to an objective and kill enemies along the way, do the objective, go to another objective and kill enemies along the way, do the objective, rinse, repeat. Luckily this doesn't get stale simply because you fight enemies in different situations. The core gameplay is fun, but mostly brought down by the AI.

Note: I was not able to try the multiplayer.

Make no mistake, GRAW is beautiful if you have a monster rig. If not, it can still look pretty good. But either way, this game is definitely poorly optimized. A computer that can run almost every other game with high detail and high resolution will probably only be able to run this game at medium detail and medium resolution if its not top-of-the-line. Also, this game does not have a stable framerate. When things explode or a lot of enemies are on screen, this game's framerate WILL DROP, sometimes horribly. Once I blew up a gas tank in the game and it went to 1 frame per second. Anyway, the graphics are quite detailed; HDR looks very good in this game, probably some of the best use of HDR I've seen in any game yet. Character models are very detailed and very good looking, and cities are huge and pretty well detailed. A problem with this game is that the entire game takes place in Mexico City, which does not make for much diversity in setting and you'll probably get bored of the same brown background by the end of the game. Graphics themself are good but because of the poor optimization I'm only giving this a 8.

Sound: Not much to say about this. Most of the sound in this game is gunshots and ballistics, and they sound pretty good when youre in battle and you can hear stuff chipping off and guns shooting. Music is not much to speak of, and voice acting is alright; a little bit cheesy though.

Value: The main game took me probably 10-20 hours. Note that the value of this game is increased beyond other games simply because you will be dying over and over in missions because they're so goddamn hard.

So in the end, GRAW is a good game, yes. But I really would not recommend it unless you have a monster rig, because then you wont be able to run the game well. And by monster rig I mean a computer with 2 GB of RAM and a 512mb video card. If you have the necessary equipment get it by all means, otherwise, you might not have fun since the graphics WILL not look as good as other current games and the fps will probably blow too.

Final Score: 8/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 06/12/06

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